The Brisbane Lions made history this season when they wore special Indigenous inspired kit in the warm-up to each AFL game.
Now, the Club’s Indigenous players have decided to auction off the very shirts the team wore, signed by the players, to raise money for Indigenous education.
The shirts will be auctioned at lions.com.au with the proceeds donated to the Indigenous Literacy Fund.
The ILF is a national book industry charity dedicated to lifting literacy levels in remote Indigenous communities, so all children across Australia have the same choices and opportunities.
Lions star Callum Ah Chee said the Club had given the Indigenous players the option to select a charity.
“We talked about it amongst ourselves quite a bit,’’ he said.
“I’d heard of the great work the Indigenous Literacy Foundation were doing and did a bit of research and it felt like the perfect fit to me.
“I suggested it to the other boys and they all looked into it and we agreed pretty quickly really.
“We are all pretty passionate about providing better opportunities for Indigenous kids and we all feel education is really important.
“The Indigenous Literacy Foundation do a fantastic job in providing education and brand-new books to Indigenous kids in remote communities, both in English and in language.
““Everyone deserves the right to a great education, so I’d encourage everyone to please jump on board, it’s a great cause and you get a really nice warm up top at the end of it.’’
Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner June Oscar OA, a former winner of the prestigious Desmond Tutu Reconciliation Fellowship, for individuals doing extraordinary work in reconciliation, said the foundation was making a major difference in remote communities.
"We are seeing children bring parents, Elders and communities together to support their learning pathways, and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation is critical in enabling these children to be whatever they wish to be in this world, she said.
The inspiration for Indigenous themed warm-up shirts evolved from the special guernseys the players wear each season for Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
The shirts were designed by Cam Ellis-Yolmen in collaboration with the Club’s six Indigenous AFL listed players including Charlie Cameron, Keidean and Blake Coleman and Nakia Cockatoo.
“We really enjoy the special guernsey’s we get to wear for Sir Doug Nicholls Round and thought it would be really special if we could design something to wear every week,’’ Ellis-Yolmen said.
“The Club and all the players were really supportive, so we came up with the warm-up shirts which represents the six Aboriginal boys and their journey to the footy Club.
“The dot art represents our families, friends and the players and staff that have supported us along the way.
“If you want to get your hands on one of these great shirts, get involved, give generously and the money goes to a great cause.’’